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Susan Joseph


Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.

Shubharthi Ghosh


Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.

Priscilla Thomas


Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.

Moulishree Srivastava


Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.

Avanish Tiwary


Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya


Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others. 



A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications. 

Prajwala Hegde


Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others. 

Rajesh Nanarpuzha


Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.


Priyokumar Singh Naorem


He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.


Dyuti Mittal


A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.

Sumakshi Singh


She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.

Purna Chandra Mahato


Purna Chandra Mahato is an artist based out of Rourkela, India. Trained in painting (fine arts) from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, Purna has participated in many prestigious exhibitions and artist camps. His paintings explore various aspects of colour, shade, textures, and strokes, while keeping to abstract themes; they strive for a spontaneity that is enjoyable to spectators.

Parul Gupta


A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.

Shweta Malhotra


Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.

Rithika Merchant


Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.

Aniruddh Mehta


Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.

Paramesh Jolad


Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.

Chandrashekhar Thakur


Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.

Concept and Direction

Nimish Vohra


Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.


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Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.

With greater sophistication in marketing methods, including the use of big data and analytics, CMOs are increasingly being questioned on their substantive impact on business (Gordon and Perrey, 2016). Customer onboarding is one area where improvements made could tangibly affect business metrics positively. This is particularly relevant as firms are being increasingly critiqued for their wastage of resources in the customer onboarding process (Voorhees et al., 2017).

Customer onboarding has been defined as the “process of familiarizing a customer with a firm’s service offering” (Voorhees et al., 2017, p. 274). In the onboarding process, a customer is typically exposed to several customer experience touch points. Lemon and Verhoef (2016, p. 76) have classified customer touch points as “brand-owned, partner-owned, customer-owned, and social/external/independent.” The implication is that a business process such as customer onboarding needs to be considered as an amalgamation of multiple customer touch points, some of which are not within the firm’s control.

In this article, I offer prescriptions culled from academic research, to make the customer onboarding process more effective.


Improving onboarding effectiveness

Rawson, Duncan, and Jones (2013) have described the typical customer onboarding process as lengthy, involving the use of multiple communication channels, potentially involving multiple sales channels and multiple firm employees. The authors point out that even if the customer satisfaction at each customer touch point is acceptable, the customer’s overall experience in the onboarding process could be underwhelming. The implication is that the customer considers the onboarding process as a journey. However, the firm often treats it as a series of individual touch points which need to be aced. In the absence of a cohesive approach, the result is often a dissatisfied customer. For firms which consider customer onboarding as a strategic customer journey in need of transformation, Rawson, Duncan, and Jones (2013) offer guidance:

Mapping the current process - This involves a deep dive into the current process. This could include mining additional customer and employee insights about the process. The intent is to identify reasons for adverse results and variations from the ideal.

Redesigning the process – Rawson, Duncan, and Jones (2015) opine that the working of internal, cross-functional teams are often the primary root causes of poor outcomes in the customer journey. The intent should always be to get employee teams to brainstorm and find solutions which will work in the field.

Creating a sustainable process – The authors mention that sustainable improvements need modifications at an organizational level. This involves looking at critical customer processes like onboarding as customer journeys rather than as a series of touch points and adopting incentive structures aligned to this view.


CMO implications

Customer onboarding in most industries is protracted, involving multiple steps, and different employee teams. Typically, several teams work in silos with little coordination. Incentive structures are aligned to customer touch points. Adopting a customer journey approach, with buy- in from multiple employee teams, and with employee incentive structures aligned to the customer journey offers the possibility to drastically improve the customer onboarding process. For CMOs, looking into the possibilities of this is strongly recommended.



  1. Gordon, J., & Perrey, J. (2015). The dawn of marketing’s new golden age. McKinsey Quarterly, 1-12.
  2. Gordon, J., & Perrey, J. (2015). The dawn of marketing’s new golden age. McKinsey Quarterly, 1-12.
  3. Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 69-96.
  4. Rawson, A., Duncan, E., & Jones, C. (2013). The truth about customer experience. Harvard Business Review, 91(9), 90-98.
  5. Voorhees, C. M., Fombelle, P. W., Gregoire, Y., Bone, S., Gustafsson, A., Sousa, R., & Walkowiak, T. (2017). Service encounters, experiences and the customer journey: Defining the field and a call to expand our lens. Journal of Business Research, 79, 269- 280.